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Study says women still not making long-term financial decisions

There are men and women who are not good with money and others who just do not want to think about it. Yet the gender pool involving investing and financial matters is far from balanced. According to a new study, men are still much more likely to handle an asset portfolio even when women handle the checkbook and the day-to-day payment of bills and expenses.

This is bad news for women in general because about half of marriages end in divorce (more two-thirds of them initiated by women) and wives traditionally live longer than their husbands do. Considering these two key factors, women could best serve themselves if they learned how to handle finances better because it's likely that they will need to at some point in their lives.

Key statistics in study

This UBS study surveyed 1,700 married couples, including same sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. Other finding include:

  • 56 percent of women leave long-term financial planning and investment decisions to husbands
  • 85 percent defer to their husband in financial matters, believing they have a better understanding of these matters
  • 43 percent of female breadwinners still defer to husbands in investment decisions
  • 69 percent of fathers and 52 percent of mothers believed that it would be okay if their daughters under the age of 21 would someday allow her husband to handle their marital investment matters

Gender roles still with us

This survey also found that millennials answered the survey's questions in much the same way as previous generations. According to the study, this is attributed to the stubbornness of gender roles in society as well as a general lack of confidence that some women may have in making their own long-term financial decisions.

Financial knowledge is power

While it may seem unpleasant or unnecessary, it is advisable that both spouses are involved in "big-picture" decisions involving assets. This serves women well if they choose to divorce, enabling them to understand such important divorce issues as the division of such assets as life insurance policies, retirement plans, stock portfolios and other long-term investments.

Divorce-planning may include pre-nuptial agreements, post-marital partition and exchange agreements ("post-nups"), and estate planning in which a spouse may benefit in consulting with an experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney in regard to the legal options available in the event of what may be an inevitable divorce.

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